Germany Beer Scene in Feuerbach-Stuttgart

Discussion in 'Europe' started by raverjames, Sep 25, 2013.

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  1. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I am not into the reviewing beer thing. Been on here since 2002, and never been into that. I first had Trumer in Chicago around 2006. It was balanced, clean, and crisp. There is a Trumer bar here. It was nice to have it on draught.
    This is my first long trip in Germany. I spent 3 months in Italy in 2006, and have been in Europe a dozen times. Previously, I had a couple days in Frankfurt and a couple layovers in Munich.
     
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  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I like the Trumer as well, but we'll have to agree to disagree on style expectations as I would never find a good Pilsner "balanced," hops will always be king. Maybe not like a Pale Ale or IPA, but definitely not like a Helles -- which I consider balanced between malt & hop.

    Bottom line is everyone has their own favorite expectations in beer, but as I said -- I was never disappointed in my choices in Germany; from Bock to Weizen.
     
  3. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Glad things turned out well for you. I have not been as happy in my selections. As for hop forward pilsners, I would say I had 2 the whole time I was here. Maybe it is a Stuttgart thing. Ain't many bocks around here either.
     
  4. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Aspirant (294) Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    We were there last week.

    Their beer was pretty good. Nutty with a touch of chocolate/coffee. Darker than most. Similar bitterness to Füchschen. Clean but soft.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Mostly seasonal, unless you head for the Salvator Keller in Munich.
     
  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    An Italian? A Californian? ;)
     
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  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,567) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I opined recently on what constitutes a ‘good’ German Pilsner in a recent thread:

    “To me a ‘good’ German Pilsner style beer is a combination of noble hops (noble hop flavor/aromas) and Pilsner malt flavors (which I sometimes describe as grainy).”

    http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/india-pale-lager-ipl-thoughts.126250/page-5#post-1852470

    IMHO, Trumer Pils is a ‘good’ German style Pilsner.

    Cheers!
     
  8. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (986) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    While I can somewhat understand this perspective (especially if you're drinking a lot of mass-produced Pilsners, Schwarzbiers, and Weizens), I find it extremely frustrating in cases where the beers are traditionally and stylistically spot on.

    For example (and RaverJames, you may actually know the guy I'm talking about as he is a pretty regular presence at lots of SC beer events and in general on the craft scene here), I brewed a Koelsch that was stylistically extremely close to a hybrid of Paeffgen and Malzmuhle: a delicate, if nicely bready, pilsner malt presence backed up by a floral noble hop foundation and finish -- and a slight Chardonnay-like winey-ness, some pear-like esters, and slight SO2 sulfry-ness from the yeast. All in all, everything in near perfect balance and just really right on.

    However, since the style is extremely subtle, his palate just couldn't pick up on these things. Our Chardonnay-drinking wives could taste all these things; an award-winning (older) homebrewer -- a finalist in the SA Longshot competition -- deemed the beer nearly perfect; even macro drinkers could appreciate the complexity. The "craft" geek's assessment: maybe add more hops and perhaps some Chardonnay-soaked oak spirals to the secondary for MOAR FLAVOR.

    So, you might say I'm over-reacting and/or my beer simply wasn't that good. However, 90% of the people -- wine, macro, and established-craft drinkers absolutely loved it and found that it had the perfect amount of flavor for the style. The only one who couldn't appreciate it for what it was was the new-generation "craft" geek. MOAR is somehow nearly always better for these types...and this guy is a certified BJCP judge. Not saying you are like this, RaverJames, but this attitude seems far-too-prevalent these days.
     
    #88 herrburgess, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,567) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And sometimes beers taste like: “Awful, bland, industrial German mass-pils. 08/15 as we say here.”

    Prost!
     
  10. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (384) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    If you are still in Stuttgart, look for Alpirsbacher Pils in your local beer store, I'm guessing you'll be able to find one. I'd be interested in your opinion on that one.
     
  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Exactly what I was saying.

    Are there many mass-produced Schwarzbiers? Honest question, because I wouldn't think so.

    Oy.
     
  12. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Send me a bottle! I am not BJCP certified, but I have been a judge and even a competition coordinator for a competition of over 500 entries. I am really not that picky. I just know what I like.
     
  13. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (986) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I addressed that in my first paragraph.
     
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Even if you've never set foot in Germany? Yeah, okay. Who's "we?"

    "Bland" is such a subjective opinion. I know a lot of people who think Optimator is bland. I know a lot of people who think Czechvar is bland. There's no accounting -- and it's been said a million times.
     
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  15. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (986) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    You ever make it back down here these days? If so, happy to meet up and serve you a half-dozen Stangen fresh from the kegerator!

    EDIT: FWIW, the guy I'm talking about has since sought out and tried a number of Koelsches, and has come to appreciate mine considerably. Even said it was better than Olde Mecklenburg's version (and I take that as a huge compliment).
     
  16. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    The one I named earlier had to be mass produced. It is in every grocery store here.
     
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Heh -- it's Germany not the US. You can find just about anything in a grocery store -- I have.
     
  18. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    You mean SC? I live in Mt Pleasant. Just never get around to updating this BA stuff. I have an old school English old ale in barrels at Westbrook. I may be able to extract some to share, if we want to do a little tasting.
     
  19. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (384) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Schwaben Brau's Das Schwarz?

    Kostritzer is mass produced, as is Monchhof's. I like those two well enough.
     
  20. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I dunno. Edeka's selection is pretty macro. Maybe Markauf, cause they have a beer warehouse.
     
  21. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I had the Schwaben Brau Schwarz. I don't remember it being amazing, but that was 3 weeks ago. Their Volksfestbier was really bland, but it was made for pounding by the liter. It hit me hard at the festival.
     
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  22. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (986) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Yea, I'm in Columbia. Old-school English Old Ale in barrels sounds good. My homebrew buddy brewed a "Colonial South Carolina Ale" that made it to the SA Longshot finals. That beer was brewed with rye and molasses and aged in a Madeira barrel. Sounds like a potential mess, but it was actually quite subtle and delicious.
     
    #102 herrburgess, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  23. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    My English ale should be about 7.5% abv, and was fermented with a mix of Brett and English ale yeast. We were trying to simulate the lack of sanitation. It is in barrels to get a little more funky. We may go too far, but the Brett needs to do its thing.
     
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  24. herrburgess

    herrburgess Savant (986) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Sounds interesting. Here's a link to an article in the AJC than mentions my buddy's beer. http://blogs.ajc.com/drink/2011/07/20/beer-town-homebrewers-and-craft-brewers/
     
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  25. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    That's my point. Stuttgart, like all big cities is a beer wasteland (and located in Würtemberg, a traditional wine growing region to boot) and München (after a wave of corporate takeovers) isn't much better. If you want good beer in Germany you have to go to where it's brewed. Upper and Middle Frankonia and the Upper Palatinate.
    I understand you didn't have much choice in where you visited and did try to make the best of it. I'm just saying, you haven't been to the good places. Those are out in the villages.
     
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  26. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    There's a big surprise :)

    o_O

    They aren't GERMAN styles. There really isn't such a thing as a "German Style" although, thanks to Fernsehbier we're getting there... :(

    Amen.
     
  27. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Please explain how there are no German styles? Many centuries of brewing beer and inventing new styles, and Germany can't claim any of that? I am confused here. I love reading beer history and evolution of styles, and some of the German styles have more history than styles from other countries. Maybe you are just being picky about the word German versus Bavarian?
     
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  28. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    As I posted back before I left the USA, Americans think amazing beer flows like water all over Germany. Most of my German beer experiences had been from the various breweries that get imported, and most of these are fantastic (Paulaner Salvator, Aventinus Eisboch/doppelbock, and even Ayinger beers). The first replies basically hinted that it was actually a bit more difficult to find all the amazing beer. After being here, I agreed with those posts. You do have to search for the really good stuff. Germany still has awesome beer, but it doesn't flow like water all over the country. This is very different than the US after the recent craft boom. In the US, you can find amazing beer in every big city. I just have a different outlook now. Had some good beers and some not so good beers. I was glad to have the advice from BA members in here. The good side of all this, is even the macro German lagers taste way better than any American Macro. That's why I didn't feel bad spending money to try them.
     
  29. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (384) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Probably this. He's right, too, in a sense. I think part of the culture-shock that comes with being an American in Germany is thinking of beer as "German". I fell hard into this trap - "Why can't I get Uerige in Heidelberg?? It's German beer!"

    If you think of beer as being "Bavarian" or "Franconian" or "Schwäbisch" or "Kölsch" or "Düsseldorfian" (sorry everyone, what's the correct word here?) then you might be better off...i.e, "great beer flows like water through Germany Franconia's streets," or "the beer in Germany Schwäbia is not to my liking." My two cents, anyway, I don't mean to speak for Stahlsturm.
     
  30. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, Stahl's our historian, and can speak from memory about German history, but I'm sure he'll tell all about Germany not really being a unified country until the early 20th century -- thus the old factions that make up the whole of the country... and beer tastes.
     
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  31. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    That is fine, but those are all now parts of Germany, which is why many refer to them as German styles. Just like how French and Italian wines can be broken up by historical regions, but still come together as French and Italian styles. I dunno. Probably just my American mentality. There is a big lack of nationalism in Germany, which is probably why people aren't happy to combine regions into the core country for style discussions.
     
  32. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (477) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Yes there are. Köstritzer, for instance. Then there's every major Fernsehbier that produces a Dunkeles, which is also as bland as their Pils. You don't see those in the America, I'm sure.

    raverjames: Don't fall into Stahlsturm's trap. He's still in revisionist history. By his thinking, I would be now living in the "country" of Prussia, which is what FFM was a part of from 1866. Yes, many Germans still think incredibly provincially, but just like I'm a Texan first, then an American, and all that chili... you get the idea. Germany was only "unified" into one country in the late 1800s, so many Germans still feel more affinity to their region than the country as a whole. That goes for food as well as dialects. I can tell you from personal contact that Stahlsturm has a cute but thick Bayrisch accent when he speaks Hochdeutsch, and I'm sure his spoken dialect is for me unintelligible if he went full bore. Beer, now that's a part of it. In Bayern they're extremely proud of their former independence, basically like Texans, and fiercely prouder of their cultural heritage, of which beer is one. However, he doesn't want to admit that there was beer brewed all over Germany in different styles, as well as the typical Pils style, which became wildly popular about 150 years ago (I think... correct me if I'm wrong), and was copied all over Germany, from Berlin to Bremen, from Freiburg to Flensburg. Yes, today they're ALL German styles, but they weren't 100s of years ago, and that's where the revisionism comes in.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly in your assessment of the German beer market. It's dominated by mostly average and bland conglomerates, jokingly called Fernsehbiere for their ubiquitous advertising on TV and every other media outlet today, with a few smaller "craft" brewers that focus on quality ingredients and quality products, but mostly those are in BAVARIA, unfortunately. Nonetheless, things have changed a bit since I arrived here in 2008. There are some beers that market their "craft"aspect, there are some upstarts producing American styles, and best of all, there are some small start ups experimenting with mixing and matching German and other styles to make a unique beer statement. Like the craft beer movement that slowly coughed in the 80s, sputtered in the 90s and took off finally in 00s and now, Germany will take time, and maybe will never be the wild west-like scene that the American craft beer now seems to be in. But it will change. It has to because of 2 simple factors: demographics & an evolution in taste. Yet this is Germany, where change happens extremely unwillingly and will be stubbornly fought, see Stahlsturm as Exhibit A. But then things will change, slowly, and then there will be an avalanche.
     
    #112 boddhitree, Nov 5, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
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  33. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I asked about "many," so far all I've heard is Köstritzer -- and Köstritzer a pretty good example.
    We see Warsteiner Dunkel... unfortunately. Never one I'd recommend.
     
  34. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Disciple (384) Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    If Klosterbräu's Schwarzla is hanging out on the shelves of an Edeka in Stuttgart then I'm about to get very annoyed with Heidelberg...
     
  35. raverjames

    raverjames Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2003 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I believe the Schwarzla was from Bamberg.
     
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  36. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    If I were to refer to a Bordeaux or a Burgundy as "French" around my brother (Who's a serious wine freak) I would get a serious lecture about me being an uncultured barbarian who doesn't deserve what I'm getting.


    Stuttgart = Württemberg = Wine country
    It's like going to Saudi-Arabia and being disappointed you can't get pork sausages.
     
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  37. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Trap ? What trap ?

    Germany was politically unified in stages between 1871 and 1918. Bavaria had been an independent state for a Millenium at that point.

    Wide ares of what today is referred to as Germany never brewed beer (or beer was only a very marginal thing) but grew wine instead. If you end up in such an area such as the former Kingdom of Württemberg then you're outa luck. People don't drink much beer, they prefer wine. Of course there are breweries here and there but the depth and the quality there is nowhere near that in an actual "brewing region".

    Bah humbug! Wishful thrill seeker thinking :p
    Seriously, when you look at who's behind all that new "craft" beer you'll see the hideous visage of corporate brewing trying for new markets. In reality at least here in Bavaria and Franconia we don't need a "craft revolution" because we never forgot our craft to begin with. Granted, other traditional brewing regions in Germany HAVE lost their way and they could use a fair amount of rediscovering their regional craft but I doubt that imitating American takes on English and Belgian beers will be the answer.
     
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  38. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Köstritzer = Fernsehbier

    "Der Betrieb wurde im April 1991 zu hundert Prozent von der Bitburger Holding übernommen."
    Source = German wikipedia = http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Köstritzer_Schwarzbierbrauerei

    Bitburger Gruppe =
    Source = German wikipedia = http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburger_Holding
     
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  39. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Think so ? Remember last time ?
     
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  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,800) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    As I've often pontificated, that doesn't mean it tastes bad.
     
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